Brokenness is the new normal. At least the multi-billion dollar self-help industry would suggest so. We buy books. We watch videos. We attend conferences. We repeat positive affirmations. We think good thoughts. Finally, when we are desperate for relief, and all out of options, we pray. I’d encourage you to pray first and let God guide you to the right resources for change. But the key to powerful prayer is keeping it real with God.
“…confess all of our dirty little secrets to God.”
We are often ashamed of our brokenness so we don’t pray about it. Mistake! Prayer requires us to keep it real with God. Those who have truly gotten to know God, through Jesus Christ, know that nothing can separate us from his love (Romans 8:38). So we go boldly into prayer and say things like, “Lord I want to slap him silly but please do not let me sin in my anger.” We can climb in our private prayer corners and confess all of our dirty little secrets to God and cry, “Help me!” You can be fake with everyone else but you must keep it real with God in order to get to wholeness.
“Before we can be real with God, our relationship has to be intimate…”
Human relationships reach higher levels of intimacy as you spend more time together. Our relationship with God is no different. Before we can be real with God, our relationship has to be intimate and we must have developed trust in Him. If you only go to Him when you are in trouble then it is not likely you have spent enough time with him to build the necessary trust to keep it real with him. So when you say “fix my mess” you have to tell him what you did. This is not so He knows what you did but so that you know and acknowledge that you need help. When you hear yourself confess your wrong-doing (and wrong-thinking) it helps you start the journey to being and doing better. It’s like getting on the scale. You know you’ve gained weight because you feel fat and your clothes are tight, but it’s not until you get on that scale and see the number that you get yourself in in the mindset to change.
“Prayer is not a vehicle to get what you want. It is a vehicle to get what God wants for you.”
Don’t give up on your relationship with God because he has not fixed your mess yet. Be bold and tell him exactly what you want to fix and be sure it aligns with His nature as God Almighty. Prayer is a way to release God’s will in your life. It’s like saying, “Okay God, whatever you say.” It is not a vehicle to get what you want in times of turmoil. In fact, prayer is not a vehicle to get you what you want at all. It is always a vehicle to get what God wants for you.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Jesus says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in your weakness” (NLT). Therefore, some messes in your life may be easy to fix. Others may take more work and time. And others may never get fixed at all. Those issues are the ones that allow God’s light to shine out through the broken places in your life. So no matter what stage of the journey to wholeness you are in, keep it real and keep shining.